Lesson 3

A Long Way Down: Designing Parachutes

Slow and Steady Wins the Race / Grade 4 / Fall River, MA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - A Long Way Down: Designing Parachutes, L3

Students learn about air resistance and test three isolated variables used in the design of parachutes.

Reflection Questions

What evidence do you see that Jean is reinforcing science practice skills throughout this lesson?

Jean spends a lot of time reviewing variables and experimental procedures in this lesson.

  • As students learn about the variables that will be tested by different groups, Jean asks the class to tell her which variables will change and which will be kept the same in each case. This guides students to think about controlling variables when experimenting. (4:10)
  • Prior to moving into the hallway for testing, Jean points out that each group will test three times. She then asks students to comment on why multiples tests could be important, guiding students to identify the importance of using multiple trials to verify results. (8:35)

How do we see Jean helping students to organize their ideas and findings throughout this lesson?

Jean refers back to the Guiding Question several times throughout the lesson, and posts findings related to the Guiding Question for the whole class to see.

  • Jean records findings after the atmosphere demo on the same sheet that lists the Guiding Question. This means that the main question students are working on throughout the lesson and their resulting findings are visually in the same space and easy to refer back to. (2:50)
  • Similarly, after testing parachute variables, Jean has each group report their findings to the class and records a summary statement about each variable on the Guiding Question chart. (11:15)